UC Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business Announces Taco Bell CEO as Commencement Speaker

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Newswise — Greg Creed, chief executive officer for Taco Bell Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., will give the commencement address at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business graduation ceremony to be held June 16, 2014, in the Bren Events Center on the UC Irvine campus.

Creed, a long-time supporter of the Merage School, will share his insights and advice to a graduating class of 568 students made up of 165 undergraduates, 11 PhDs, 106 Full Time MBAs, 167 Fully Employed MBAs, 40 Executive MBAs and 25 Healthcare Executive MBAs. Also in this year’s graduating class will be 54 students from the first cohort earning a Master of Professional Accountancy degree.

“Graduation is something to be proud of and I am honored to speak to the graduates of the Merage School, who have already shown great determination,” said Creed. “At Taco Bell, we encourage people to get a little more out of life and put their heart into everything they do, and as a result, deliver to others more than expected. I look forward to encouraging these young professionals to lead with passion and be an inspiration to others – feeding people’s lives with más!”

According to Rajeev Tyagi, interim dean at the Merage School, “Greg Creed and Taco Bell have contributed in many different ways that greatly impact our students, professors, and the entire business community at large. Greg has been at Taco Bell’s helm for most of the past decade, and we are honored that he gives so generously of his time and talent to the School on advisory boards, hosting Corporate Partner events, and instilling his infectious attitude of enjoying what he does every day. We are honored to have Greg as our Distinguished Executive Speaker at Commencement 2014.”

As CEO of Taco Bell Corp., Creed is responsible for driving overall brand strategy and performance of the global business. Creed joined the Yum! Brands’ U.S. team as chief marketing officer in 2001 where he spearheaded the popular “Think Outside the Bun” campaign. He became chief operating officer for Yum! Brands in 2005 and returned to Taco Bell Corp. a year later, assuming the position of president and chief concept officer. Promoted to CEO in 2011, he has since taken on management of international operations in addition to the U.S. beginning this year. He has more than 30 years of experience in marketing and operations with leading packaged goods and restaurant brands including Unilever, PepsiCo, KFC and Pizza Hut in addition to Taco Bell.

Creed received a business degree from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, and is currently a board member of the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, in which he is committed to helping inspire teens to graduate. He is also a board member for International Game Technology (IGT), the Fight2Win Foundation for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and a past Distinguished Speaker Series presenter with the Merage School’s Center for global Leadership.

About Taco Bell Corp.
Taco Bell Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE: YUM), is the national’s leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant. Taco Bell serves made to order and customizable tacos, burritos, and specialties such as the exclusive Doritos® Locos Tacos, gourmet-inspired Cantina Bell® Menu and lower calorie Fresco Menu. The company encourages customers to “Live Mas,” both through its food and in ways such as its Feed The Beat® music program and its nonprofit organization, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens™. Taco Bell and its more than 350 franchise organizations have nearly 6,000 restaurants across the United States that proudly serve more than 36 million customers every week.

About The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine
The Paul Merage School of Business offers four dynamic MBA programs, a Master of Professional Accountancy – plus PhD and undergraduate business degrees – that deliver its thematic approach to business education: sustainable growth through strategic innovation. It graduates leaders with the exceptional ability to help grow their organizations through analytical decision-making, innovation and collaborative execution. In-class and on-site experiences with real-world business problems give students the edge needed to help companies compete in today’s global economy. To learn more, visit: merage.uci.edu, or go to: merage.uci.edu/go/commencement, for details about the program.
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